Author: Dr. Kirsten Turkington, NP

This July 4th, I think of our military service members, many of whom cannot be with their families. I also think about the front line workers in the same situation, but for very different reasons. I ponder the next generation of military, law enforcement, and health care leaders.

I am not a veteran, but I spent a lot of time at The United States Military Academy when I was younger. I wandered the grounds (pre-September 11th) and spent hours learning. I developed a deeper historical perspective. I spent hours looking over the Hudson River in awe, recognizing that the view was essentially unchanged since our country’s inception.

I watched many cadet parades, students marching with enviable precision. They reside at West Point, learning how to be the next generation of leaders for four continuous years. The sense of pride is overwhelming. Young adults, men, and women instilled with “Duty, Honor, County.”

Duty, Honor, Country. These are the words the Corps of Cadets live by. They take this paradigm into their professional careers. For many, it becomes personal. I imagine it is similar to our other service academies as well.

Duty is a defined responsibility. It is a requirement. Duty can also be a focus. We all have a duty to our country, not just the cadets. This July 4th our duty is to support our service members. We should also consider supporting our law enforcement and front line RNs, Physicians, EMTs, Paramedics, Firefighters, and Support staff. Without them, we would not make it through this pandemic.

We must support our frail elderly and other vulnerable populations. Without many of them, we would not have made it through the last pandemic, multiple foreign wars, and the more current technology threats to our independence. They laid a foundation of greatness we are tasked to continue and honor.

Honor is respect, or to hold in esteem. This is a good day to honor our service members as well as our front lines. Respect given is often returned. We cannot have support and structure without duty and desire to be better at something. Ideally, we prefer to be part of that same something, not just observers. By honoring our country’s history and those people that make up its’ foundation, we can properly support all our future endeavors. Likewise, honoring our vulnerable and at-risk demonstrates the esteem with which they are held.

Our country is today’s focus. This July 4th, I am proud to be an American. We all have a duty to support our county. We must be honored to be a part of what it stands for. I stand by our country and support the people. All people. My wish is civility and respect for everyone.

Please show respect for veterans who fought to create and our rights. At the same time, respect our elderly and vulnerable by wearing a mask and staying home just a little longer.

DrKTurk is a health care unicorn: qualities you want, but rarely find. The unique combination of Advanced Practice Nurse, Educator, & Advocate. Please comment, follow, & share on LinkedinTwitterInstagram and online. Sign up for her newsletter, writing updates and other health realted information (I will never spam or sell your information).

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